Why Your Hamstrings Hurt After Running

Running Legs

Hamstring injuries can be fairly common for both short and long-distance runners. Here are the most common reasons for people who feel tightness or pain around their hamstring area after they go running. We also cover ways to prevent hamstring injuries while running.

Repetitive Motions Tightens Muscles

The repetitive motions of running can tighten the leg muscles, especially when the running session involves minimal variations (e.g. when you are running on a treadmill or a flat path the whole time). Long-distance runners are more likely to experience hamstring strains, which is the result of microtears in the muscle that eventually develop into scar tissue. Over time, this can lead to chronic stiffness and discomfort if it isn’t treated or given enough time to heal.

For short-distance runners, the repetitive, explosive movements of the leg could eventually cause hamstring tears, which is when the muscles get stretched too far and causes a tear along the belly of the muscle. To prevent hamstring injuries while running, it’s important to first do a proper warm up to stretch out the muscles. The stretching will make the muscles a lot more flexible, which reduces the likelihood of experiencing a pulled or strained hamstring.

Weak Hips and Glutes

Some runners are more likely to hurt their hamstring than others, especially if they don’t incorporate any strength training to their workout regimen. Strength training is important for runners because it helps correct any muscle imbalance in your body as well as improving the efficiencies of your running biomechanics. Ideally, you should be doing an all-round workout that also focuses on body parts such as the hips and glutes.

The hips, for example, can play an important role in the health of your hamstrings, especially while you are running. You might not realize this but poor pelvic positions can put more strain on your hamstring. Check this article out for an extensive look at how the hip can hurt the hamstring.